Exercise can help you attain the body frame you wish for, but after a few weeks of it, you can lose interest in the regime. So, it’s important to enjoy exercising rather than calling it an obligation, says an expert.
Joanne Henson, author of “What’s your excuse for not getting fit?”, has some advice on how can one exercise religiously without feeling like it’s a boring chore.
* Exercise doesn’t have to be unpleasant: Many fitness professionals talk about workouts as if they’re of no value unless they leave you gasping for air, covered in sweat and sore for the next few days. But it is important to understand that any exercise is better than no exercise even at a moderate level. Also, exercise is not a punishment. If you use exercise to punish yourself for what you’ve eaten, you’re never going to enjoy it or feel motivated to do it.
* Find something you enjoy: If you love it, you’ll do it. So what do you enjoy? Do you like exercising with a friend or do you need to exercise alone? Do you like being outdoors, or do you hate being cold and wet? Keep trying different forms of exercise until you find something you enjoy. How about hiking, belly dancing, martial arts, ballet, yoga, rowing, boxing, climbing or swimming? Exercise doesn’t have to involve joining a gym or running.
* Ease yourself into it: If you’re new to exercise, or starting again after a long period of inactivity, there’s no need to go all-out straight away. Your body won’t thank you for going too hard too soon, and the pain, struggle and post-workout soreness will just reinforce any belief that exercise is unpleasant. Take it easy for the first few times – and you can always work a bit harder next time.
* Make it a habit: What do fit people have in common? They exercise regularly and consistently. So make it your priority to establish the habit first. Then, you can concentrate on increasing your level of fitness later. If that means getting yourself to a gym, but doing only ten minutes’ exercise per session for the first month, that’s fine.
* Don’t expect a quick fix: One of the reasons people go so hard and give up so quickly is that they are looking for a quick fix, and when they don’t get one, they become disillusioned. Be patient, give it some time, and remember that exercise has long-term and ongoing health benefits beyond body shape.
* Pick the right exercise for your goal: If you have a specific goal, and you’re going to invest time and effort in exercising, make sure that time and effort is well spent. What is it you want to achieve? Be honest with yourself, and if necessary, get some advice on what would be most effective.
* Track your progress: One of the positives of regular exercise is experiencing improvement and progress. If you didn’t see any improvement, you’d eventually get disheartened. So, track each small improvement to keep your motivation levels high.